Thank you, Chair.
We have all invested our time and resources that have translated into the UNAIDS 2016-2021 Strategy, which the board passed on Monday. This Strategy is strongly immersed on the fast-track approach, for us as women, men, transgender, children and youth, and we all trust it can lead us to the promised land, “a land with no AIDS BY 2030”.
For this Strategy to deliver us to that promised land, it needs to be fully owned, funded, implemented and evaluated from time to time; less of this, we may be building castles in the air.
Over the years, the global community has joined hands to respond to this epidemic with the leadership of the Joint Program. I must also recognize the north-south and south-south collaboration that we have seen exhibited over the years. Chair, I must appreciate the US, UK, Sweden, Norway, Netherlands, Switzerland and every one who has immensely supported civil society especially, youth programs.
Important to note however, is that resource envelope in the HIV response hasn’t met the existing needs in quality and quantity. This has continued to compromise our ability not only to mobilize our peers for existing services that might meet their needs but also to contribute our efforts maximally. The most needed social support such as nutrition, safe water, shelter and economic support for OVCs and widows within communities most impacted by the epidemic isn’t always funded.
It is our humble request therefore that we do a costing of how much it shall be needed to end AIDS by 2030 with communities’ support especially networks of PLHIV and other key populations. We urge our respective governments to increase local mobilization and funding not only for health but for HIV too. Many of our colleagues, are finding difficulties in copying up with mental health problems, sexual and reproductive health conditions like cervical and anal cancers, chronic illnesses and co-morbidities like diabetes, hypertension and kidney disease among others.
We must commit to fully funding the Global Fund and also come up with flexible mechanisms that ensure that substantial amount of monies and other resources reach grassroots organizations especially for PLHIV, women, key populations and young people. For we are not only fast and furious, but mobile and innovative too!
Observer, 37th PCB
Uganda Youth Coalition on Adolescent SRHR and HIV (CYSRA-Uganda)